George Romero seemingly broke ground with each new film he made for a time and was never short on poignant and important commentary within his films. His films were not only means of entertainment, which they were, or means to scare you, which they did, but they were intended to make the viewer to take a step back and come out with a better version of themselves. From casting a black man in the lead in Night Of The Living Dead to commenting on the frightening power of addiction in Martin, to the commentary on consumerism and capitalism in Dawn Of The Dead. It is an injustice that Romero's films are rarely looked at beyond being horror films, even if they're considered "great" horror films, there is a stigma to horror where it is viewed as less of an art form. That is a great injustice to George Romero who is an artist in the truest sense of the word. He refused the standard studio system of filmmaking for many of his films even if it meant a smaller budget and tighter production.
George and I
Cinema has lost a legend today and not just horror. George Romero's importance to the art form of movie making transcends genre and it is a crime that his legacy was not more widely regarded outside of the horror community while he was alive. Horror fans certainly let him know how important he was though and he definitely felt that love. If you've ever heard the saying "Don't meet your heroes" ignore that. Sure, some of them might let you down but if I listened to that, or if I kept procrastinating I would never have met George Romero and I would have cheated myself of a moment and memory I cherish. Let them know you appreciate their work and the genuine ones will make it worth your time. George did.
I wish I could say something more poignant or gripping or important but I didn't know the man personally. Our meeting was made up of no more than two minutes among a long line of people that would have a similar meeting with him but if this is to be my lasting tribute to an important film maker that I am a shameless fan of than I'm glad to share my memories of the man and briefly discuss the importance of his contributions. Now go watch Martin, for George.
George A. Romero 1940-2017